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Strathclyde Sirens

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Loughborough Lightning

Match Details

20th February 2023
Round 3
Sports Halls, Emirates
Stats Report

Match Results

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First Centre Pass

Natalie Panagarry
Natalie Panagarry Loughborough Lightning View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Loughborough Lightning continued their perfect start to the season with a 63-42 victory away at Strathclyde Sirens.

Sirens returned home to the Emirates Arena for the first time in the 2023 Netball Super League season but were met by an in-form Lightning side who earned their third win from three with imperious displays in both circles.

The team were evenly matched for the first few minutes before Loughborough’s superior league position began to shine through.

Their movement down court was controlled in a way the Sirens couldn’t compete with. Shooting was very evenly matched but Mary Cholhok’s consistency rose above the work of Bethan Goodwin and Niamh McCall.

As the game continued the Sirens defence began to cause more damage especially Towera Vinkhumbo at goal keeper, who chipped away within the defensive circle but the goal difference continued to widen despite the Sirens’ best efforts in front of a home crowd.

The intensity rose as the match wore on causing misfired balls and interceptions. Abi Robson had a flying third quarter at wing defence, marking her territory in her first Super League season for Sirens but it wasn’t a match for the likes of visitors’ Nat Panagarry and Hannah Joseph in the midcourt who kept seamlessly transferring the ball across thirds.

Sirens kept pushing until the last minutes but Lightning were victorious securing their position as a force to be reckoned with this season.

First Quarter

Both teams opened goal for goal in the first few minutes but there was an evident calmness in Lightning’s work into their shooting position with Cholhok contrasting the slightly more frantic Sirens.

After a miscommunication in midcourt between Kelly Boyle and Claire Maxwell, Lighting gained the advantage and broke the vying of the teams.

Sirens weren’t letting them run away with it that quickly and continued to Goodwin’s movement in the shooting circle remaining controlled.

Despite Sirens struggling to assert dominance in their defensive circle in the beginning Emily Nicholl and Vinkhumbo continued to apply pressure forcing more mistakes for the visitors. It wasn’t quite enough to close the lead Lightning had begun as they moved into the next quarter five goals up with the score 18-13 to the visitors.

Second Quarter

Sirens opened strongly as they moved to close the lead, the combination of Goodwin and McCall shooting working seamlessly in their opening shots.

Lightning persisted with added physicality as they continued their consistent plays. However with flying intercepts from Maxwell as centre the Sirens, the home girls are still putting up a fight.

Having settled in, the speed ramped up resulting in loose balls from both sides and Sirens struggled to work the ball into their shooting circle without it being intercepted by the likes of Alice Harvey.

The main difference between the sides was the ease at which Lightning were able to feed the ball from their attacking third to their shooters as opposed to the effort it takes the Sirens to achieve the same aim.

Third Quarter

Sirens trailed by 11 goals at the break, meaning every minute counted going into the second half.

Vinkhumbo created brilliant early pressure forcing the ball to be turned in the defensive third but the team struggled to utilise it and secure the goal.

Robson provided excellent support in midcourt, intercepting twice in the space of a few minutes. As the quarter drew to an end Emma Barrie came into shoot and the energy around the attacking circle bescame electric.

Sirens continued to give their all into the game but it becomes increasingly difficult to match the combination of the likes of Panagarry and Joseph as they effortlessly move the ball from the centre pass to the shooters, as Lightning extended their lead to 50-31 heading into the final quarter.

Fourth Quarter

With the final result seeming clear, Sirens continued to work hard for every goal and intercept.

Barrie and Nicholl worked well to combat the physicality from the Loughborough defenders and down the other end of the court Vinkhumbo extended her brilliant work turning the course of play in the Scottish side’s favour.

Although Sirens were unable to close the gap Lightning had created, they were able to prevent the widening of it in the final quarter.

Rhea Dixon and Emma Thacker worked hard to continue the accuracy of Lightning’s previous three quarters and strengthen the goal difference but dipped slightly at the end. Nonetheless Loughborough came out victorious and with a strong result.

Report provided by Strathclyde Sirens

You can also watch the highlights from all the games in the NSL 2023 season HERE. Buy tickets to support Strathclyde Sirens at their home games and support Loughborough Lightning at their home games by buying tickets here.

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